Mouthing, excited nipping.. - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Mouthing, excited nipping..

Hi, new to the forum, but not new to dog behavior!! I manage a dog daycare business, and worked as a vet tech for years. I am a first time Vizsla owner however. I have simply fallen in love!! Chose the Vizsla for it's sense of humor, and intelligence.
Wally is 7 months old, and being neutered next week. He comes to work with me most days. We have a large daycare group of up to 35 dogs a day that he plays with 3-4 times a week. The daycare rooms are supervised at all times, but by other staff members. There are occasions that have to enter the room however, and Wally loses his Vizsla mind.... I often leave the room with many dime sized bruises from his nipping me with excitement. I know he is trying to resource me from the other dogs. I also know that they are a mouthy breed, that shows its devotion by leading you from the mouth...
I am wondering what the best way may be to deal with this?? I have tried the classic blocking and ignoring, and it works sometimes. I just don't want the the behavior to continue on to the other employees that care for him on a daily basis. I know he is a young dog, and perhaps this will pass...??? Just looking for some Vizsla specific information and advice!! Thank you!!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

I'm interested in any advice anyone can offer on this too - Hobie has taken to snapping at the backs of our arms/elbows when we're standing and she wants attention (she's getting bigger and stronger now and has realized that can jump higher than before). She bruised me and broke the skin the other day. This seems to be different than the "puppy biting" we dealt with when she was a baby.

This behavior will not fly with us but I don't know the best way to nip it (no pun intended). ;D

Actually she's been VERY snappy lately, even when we're relaxing on the couch. She's 5 months old - none of her teeth have fallen out so I'm thinking it's not a teething issue, though I'm not an expert.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 11:32 AM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

Kian is 11 months now and he has toned it down quite a bit in regards to the nipping/mouthing.
We find that if he has not been given lots of exercise then we see this sort of behaviour.
Now when he is very tired, ready to fall asleep tired, he will mouth our hands and suckle on our fingers and hten he will usually fall asleep.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 12:06 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

Yeah, this is pretty much at night when we're trying to wind down and she's winding up... everything becomes a game. Even when we're trying to correct her, she thinks it's a game. SO frustrating.

This winter has been so rough, it's been hard to let her outside to play for very long. I know she's not getting as much physical activity as we'd like. The 20 minute brisk walk (on the days that it's actually above the 20s) is not cutting it, but I've been told we're not allowed to jog with her until she's a year old. This weekend it's supposed to be in the 40s so believe me we'll be soaking up as much outdoor play as possible.

She has an "interview" and observation at a doggy day camp tomorrow - I pray they accept her so that she can go at least twice a week while we're at work and play for the majority of the day. I think that may help to wear her out and give us some peace at night..... hopefully.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 08:47 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..


I'm also very interested in this topic. Our 5 month old vizsla is doing the same thing. She jumped up an nipped me in the face today. I can tell that it is a glad to see you kind of response. She is not doing this in a mean way. But, I am afraid that one of these times, I, or worse yet, one of my kids, will get hurt. I have also tried turning my back on her and ignoring but this works only sometimes. Also there have been quite a few time outs, but then she is right back doing the same thing again. Most of the time the nips seem to be when she is licking me and then she lunges in with an unexpected nip.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 10:20 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

Biting and nipping are unacceptable in any form. They are the one "Cardinal Sin", if you will, that I have. Jumping up would be a close second.
Generally, but certainly not always, it begins as a puppy. Who can resist wrassling around with a Vizlsa puppy and engaging in fun time with them, but we tend to downplay the little nips at that age as just being puppyish behavior that they will outgrow. In reality though we are establishing the boundries of acceptable behavior at the most critical time in their life. Simply put, it has been impressed upon them that biting is an acceptable behavior. Now this doesn't mean it's a guarantee that if they are never allowed to nip and bite as puppies, they'll be perfect, far from it. If however it is impressed upon them at an early age that nipping and biting are unacceptable, when they get older the behavior can be more easily addressed, enforced, and corrected as there has been a foundation already established, and now we're just waiting for maturity to kick in. In my mind, and my experience, if they are never allowed to start nipping and biting, then the behavior is mitigated at an early age.

I am going to fly in the face of current convention in dealing with older dogs, no longer puppies, that still nip and bite.
No matter what term we use to identify the behavior, such as resource guarding, or dominance behavior attributes, it is just bad manners and should not be tolerated.
When Gunnr nips me, or even puts her teeth on me during play. I immediately grab her muzzle, give it a sharp shake, command "No Teeth" while slightly pinching her gum, and then put her in either her kennel, or restrain her for a minute, while I hold her muzzle and talk to her. There is no slack here, ever. She knows exactly where those teeth are.
I know this sounds harsh, but it is all very controlled, and I don't believe in using pain as a tool. Discomfort yes. Pain, no.
Since I started with Gunnr, last August, she has really improved. She does still do it occasionally, but all I usually have to say is no teeth, and we can get on with it. In the beginning she was out of control, and was going to unintentionally hurt someone. She bit hard. Hard enough that the nerves in my hands would go numb when she caught my hand or arm Age has helped a tremendous amount also. She genuinely want to please now and tries not to be bad, but sometimes she is still Gunnr, and can't help herself. I predict that by the age of two, the behavior will be gone. She's really matured a lot these last few months.
It takes time and commitment. It has to completely black and white with dogs. They can never get away with putting their teeth on you, no matter what. Every incidence has to be met with correction. Don't hurt them, don't beat them, but very firmly and under control correct the behavior in a patterned, consistent manner so that your dogs always see the same picture. Also try to ensure that whomever else handles our dog reinforces the behavior in approximately the same manner. The clearer the picture, the faster they'll get it.

You'll never beat a lesson into a dog, you just beat desire out.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 10:54 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

When Merc is very excited it is often quite clear that he wants something in his mouth - for example he will run and get a toy when I first get home in the afternoon. Then he can chew on that, lean on me, wag his body and get some attention all at the same time. If there is nothing around he has sometimes grabbed my hand but not actually so that i felt teeth - different to what gunnr describes. So if i see that he is unusually excited I tell him to get his toy before I pat him.

Maybe for chanson and gidget if it is just excitement you could try having a toy handy and seeing if they are happier when they have hold of it. Maybe they are just looking for something to hold. I have heard that chewing on something helps dogs to calm down.

However if it's actual nipping with teeth and the dog is doing it for a reason - giving them a toy is not the solution.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 05:54 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

I think your advice is great Gunnr. Our V is the same as what's described here - mostly mouthing but at times of excitement and inattention, he nips and it really hurts.
I took your advice about the firm telling off for any teeth action and he's slowly getting it. The firm telling off is what his mother would do and I agree, he needs to know that it's unacceptable in any way, shape or form, since he can't tell the difference between what's soft and what's painful.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 07:51 PM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

How long does puppy nipping usually go on for? I feel like a bad puppy owner but im nearing my wits end with the constant biting because he is now starting to break the skin on a regular basis... I tend to do the "oww" yell and then stand up and ignore him but its still pretty out of hand. He is almost 11 weeks and i need to see some light at the end of the tunnel! :P

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 02:23 AM
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Re: Mouthing, excited nipping..

I thought I was the only one with this problem since Vizslas are very loving haha. But Granger nips and bites and it really kills the mood for me. I hold his muzzle and give him a strict no and carry him to his crate. I don't know if it works. I don't even know if there's an improvement... I'm running out of ideas
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